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Disney's Ptex Released as FREE Open Source!


Ptex was used on virtually every surface in the feature film Bolt, and is now the primary texture mapping method for all productions at Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Official Announcement as posted on

"We are happy to announce that the Disney Ptex library has been released as open source under the BSD license. The Ptex library is the same production-proven code used at Disney and included with Pixar’s PRMan, and includes full support for reading, writing, caching, and filtering Ptex texture files.

The Ptex home page is located at, and the source code is hosted at

We have set up a discussion group at along with a related group.
We encourage your comments and questions.

We expect to follow Ptex with other open source projects that we hope the community will find beneficial. We will soon be launching a new Walt Disney Animation Studios Technology page under It will include links to our open source projects as will as a library of recent publications.

An additional announcement will be sent when the Technology site goes live. All further announcements will be made to the ptexannounce

Thanks for your interest!

Brent Burley
Walt Disney Animation Studios"

2008 paper explaining Ptex PDF


  1. That's great news so far. Have to check how it can be integrated into my workflow. But nice to see more and more companies jump on the open source train :)

  2. [I apologize if this comment is a duplicate, but it seems to have not being posted the first time]

    I liked one of the related videos:
    "Fast and efficient 3D modeling tutorial for the human hand"

    Yes, another hand modelling tut... This one seems to pay special attention to the 3D shape of the thumb.

  3. Ohh!!! This technology seems to be very profitable for texturing tasks. But it assumes quite mature paint tools within the application (i.e. Blender), because there is no easy way how to paint with any external tool. But I like the idea very much! Thanks (one more time) Disney...

  4. Very good idea, blender might easily incorporate it since it already has per-face uv's. One drawback is that it must be extremely memory demanding, but scalability lessens that drawback somewhat.

  5. 4museman:
    This is essentially a file format specification + API to read and write it, which only improves the interoperability between programs. As long as your paint app supports the format you could paint your blender-models in it (assuming, of course, that blender supports it as well).

    The drawback is of course that you can't use any 2d paint app like you could do with normal uv-textures. But you aren't in any way locked to blenders paint-tools if that's what you mean.

    Hope this gets implemented in blender. It looks really useful!

  6. @Teppic:
    Yes. I understand that Ptex is a piece of code to enable its functionalities for any 3D app with its own special fileformat. I believe, that it could be implemented directly even to Blender's own database-like fileformat.

    What I meant was that the need of much better paint tools will rise very quickly if Ptex appear in Blender, just because you cannot use the external 2D programs. (I think some rebake could be possible, but it is unsufficient in this case.) For example you'll need to paint color and displace in the same time. You'll need more advanced brushes, or be able to convert different paint layers for different purposes, etc.

  7. Ok, so I went to the ptex website, via the link, and downloaded the latest version's .zip file. How do you install it???

    Thanks for any responses!

  8. The Ptex API is not a software that can be installed really, that is why it is an API. Very much similar to how OpenEXR was adopted by Blender as well as other software. So in order for this to appear in Blender it would have to be implemented by the Blender Devs, or if you are brave enough program it in yourself. Ptex can be adopted into ANY application, including Maya, 3DSMax, ZBrush, C4D, Blender, K3D, Aqsis, Pixie etc.... already it was added to Pixar's PRMan, mainly since PRMan is used at Disney as their renderer of choice so it only made sense to include it with the software. So expect to see this added to quite a bit of software over the next year and we can only hope that Ton and company will include it sometime in the future, they do have quite a on their plate at the moment so don't hold your breath right now, though I do imagine this being added at some point - but do not take my word for it.

  9. Hi All,

    How can Ptex fit into the Blender work flow?

    Create a Model in Blender > Assign textures in Ptex > ??? Now what

    Do we take it back to Blender to render?
    Will blender support the Ptex output? Since Ptex bypasses the UV assignment phase

    These are some questions that arises in my mind..
    Any inputs..


  10. @jadhav333:
    I can imagine this pipeline:

    create model --> convert it to Ptex object --> paint on it --> save it along with a scene to Blender file (or choose export to Ptex fileformat) --> render it in Blender or using any renderer that supports it

    This is just my guess. :) Maybe someone can tell more knowledgeably.

    I had a very similar idea some years ago, so that this technology I feel very familiar. Unfortunately I'm graphic designer and my programming skills ends on Python scripting. ;)

    I'd love to see Ptex in Blender!!

  11. @4museman

    I think you got the pipeline correct, well, mostly. You create the model as a mesh or convert something to a mesh, and then, you convert the mesh to a ptex object. If you had previously set textures, I imagine you would lose them in the conversion, so you would have to reset the texture and finally, paint.

    Ptex looks promising, a giant leap in open source technology. I hope to try it out someday soon, but I'm not advanced enough to actually use the source code.

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